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Series 203 - School Board Organization

Adopted: May 1983
Revised: November 2016

1. School Board Members – The board consists of seven members elected at large at a regular election unless there is a vacancy on the board in which case the process in Minnesota Statute 123B.09 is followed. The superintendent serves as an ex-officio member of the board.

2. School District General Elections and Terms of Members

2.1  School District General Elections

2.1.1 School district general elections will be held on the Tuesday following the first Monday of November in odd-numbered years.

2.1.2 Four members will be elected at one election; three members will be elected two years later.

2.2 Terms – The terms of board members will be four years and until a successor qualifies.

3. Officers

3.1 Officers of the board shall have a clear understanding of their legal and ethical responsibilities.

3.2 In the absence of the board chairperson, the vice chairperson, clerk and treasurer, respectively, serve as the pro-tem chairperson.

3.3 The board authorizes the coordinator of finance to perform routine duties of board treasurer, and the secretary to the School Board to perform routine duties of the board clerk.

4. Vacancies – A vacancy occurs when a member dies, resigns, ceases to be a resident of the district or is unable to serve on the board and attend its meetings for not less than 90 days because of illness or prolonged absence from the district.

4.1 Vacancy due to illness or absence - If the vacancy occurs because a member is unable to serve on the board and attend its meetings for 90 or more days because of illness or prolonged absence from the district, the vacancy may be filled by appointment (after the board has by resolution declared a vacancy to exist) at any regular or special board meeting. The appointment will be in effect for the remainder of the member's unexpired term or until the ill or absent member is able to resume duties as a board member, whichever date is earliest. When an ill or absent member is again able to resume duties as a member of the board, the board will approve a resolution to that effect and declare the person to be again a member of the board, and declare the appointed person to be no longer a member of the board.

4.2 Any other vacancy shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of Minnesota Statute 123B.09, subd. 5b.

5. Orientation of Candidates and New Board Members

5.1 The superintendent will offer to meet with board candidates to share basic information about the district, and about campaign and election procedures. 

5.2 The board and the superintendent shall help each member-elect to understand board functions, policies, administrative regulations and procedures before he or she takes office. This help may be provided through individual or group meetings, tours, mentorship with an experienced board member and/or other means agreed to with the newly elected member.

5.3 The superintendent shall share the same materials (board agenda packets, board newsletters, emails, etc.) with newly elected members that are shared with sitting board members (excepting confidential materials) in addition to any other materials which they will need as board members.

5.4 Before taking office, newly elected board members shall be invited to take advantage of the four Phase Orientation Workshops for new board members sponsored by the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) at district expense. In accordance with Minnesota Statute 123B.09, subd. 2, school board members shall receive training in school finance and management and MSBA must make that training (Phase II Orientation) available to each newly elected school board member within 180 days of that member taking office.

5.5 Newly elected board members shall also be informed of and invited to attend both special and regular board meetings.

6. Compensation and Expenses

6.1 The board may consider compensation for its members annually.

6.2 Expenses of the board are to be paid in the same manner as expenses of other district employees.

7. Code of Ethics The board subscribes to the Minnesota School Boards Association School Board Member/Superintendent Leadership Team Guidelines (see District Administrative Regulation 203.7AR, School Board Code of Ethics).

8. Professional Development Opportunities

8.1 In order to perform their responsibilities to the residents, students, staff and state, board members are encouraged to participate in professional development activities.

8.1.1 Such activities shall relate to district goals or board development.

8.1.2 Board members are encouraged to participate in School Board and related workshops sponsored by local, state and national school boards, education associations and other professional organizations.

8.1.3 Board members shall attempt to attend local and in-state (rather than national) conferences, workshops and seminars.

8.1.4 The board will pay expenses of its members to participate in such professional development activities.

8.2 Board members will report to the board with information of interest gathered at the various meetings and workshops.

8.3 The district will provide professional resources for board members consisting of the laws, policies, directives and publications of the Minnesota Department of Education, and Minnesota School Boards Association, as well as other pertinent publications.

8.4 The board may join professional education associations and, on a case-by-case basis, shall determine and limit the numbers of board members authorized to attend specific workshops and conventions where the expenses involved warrant such limitations.

References:

  • Minnesota School Boards Association Service Manual
  • Minnesota Statute 205A.04, General Election
  • Minnesota Statute 123B.09, Boards of Independent School Districts

Policies/203/11-15-16